Fire danger as power restored after quake 

Published: 4:09PM Saturday September 04, 2010

Source: ONE News

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Fire danger as power restored after quake (Source: ONE News)

A fire broke out in the CBD after power was restored but there was a gas leak. - Source: ONE News

A building in the centre of quake-ravaged Christchurch burst into flames this afternoon but was quickly brought under control.

The fire is believed to have been caused by a combination of the power being restored and a gas leak.

The Fire Service is also facing problems with water supply and pressure.

Meanwhile, Christchurch residents are being urged to check their chimneys before they light their fires this evening.

Christchurch fire chief Dan Coward said people should stay away from the centre of town and be aware that there are things they need to do at home.

He said chimneys should be checked thoroughly for obvious cracks or significant damage.

Coward told ONE News people have rallied to help and have been turning up to fire stations with refreshments but they also need to realise that checks need to be made around their homes, including making sure that their smoke alarms are working.

With power coming on and off, Coward said it is vital to ensure electrical plugs haven't been overloaded or damaged in a way that could cause a fire.

He is pleased locals have heeded calls to stay away from town and said the service needs to get staff and equipment through the area freely without being hindered by people.

The Fire Service has dealt with a variety of calls but most involve damage to properties, including industrial sites where stored chemicals have posed a risk.

Engineers have been assessing damaged buildings and prioritising which structures could be further damaged by aftershocks.

He said there is a risk to the public of further falling objects if they venture into the city.

Are you in the Canterbury region? Share your experiences of the earthquake on our messageboard at the end of this article.

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Add a Comment:

sunny1901 ; 2010-09-07 @ 00:55 NZDT Report Abusive Message  
could somebody please tell me why there are people standing in the cracks in the earth and dangling their legs into them, are they not aware that if an aftershock hits then they could get their legs crushed, as the cracks could close or grate together?
natg ; 2010-09-07 @ 03:37 NZDT Report Abusive Message  
that is EXACTLY what myself and my friends were thinking as we watched the news tonight
dancingqueen ; 2010-09-07 @ 05:05 NZDT Report Abusive Message  
Sunny1901, Your absolutley right, I have been watching in horror at people and little children standing in holes in the ground. Last night on Closeup, they were doing just this. Both my husband and I said what on earth are they doing, if there was an aftershock, they could be sucked in, or the hole could open more and close over them. Keep out of these crevices, or there will be a life lost. For goodness sake.
Australianne ; 2010-09-07 @ 14:27 NZDT Report Abusive Message  
My personal favourites are the pics of the kids riding bikes or wading through the 'water'...which is probably why a number of people are now coming down with gastroenteritis!
thinkaboutit ; 2010-09-06 @ 23:06 NZDT Report Abusive Message  
More great coverage tonight TVNZ especially highlighting the situation at individual community levels where people reported they felt abandoned. All credit to those organising themselves into community working groups at this level despite this. Arguably the recovery process would be greatly enhanced if these community groups were psychologically and practically supported by establishing official coordination centres at individual community levels.
Madeleine Ware ; 2010-09-06 @ 17:31 NZDT Report Abusive Message  
You're making some good points here. Perhaps some of the donations could be towards purchasing and setting up storage of these sorts of things. Individuals are also responsible for making their own preparations. I clean and keep old 3L juice bottles filled with water. Every now and then I water my house plants with one and refill it to refresh it.
Madeleine Ware ; 2010-09-06 @ 17:27 NZDT Report Abusive Message  
As long as you don't get all caught up in day-to-day life and forget to analyse. I reckon now's as good a time as any, when the motivation is strong.
Madeleine Ware ; 2010-09-06 @ 17:25 NZDT Report Abusive Message  
Why are they buying water? Aren't there several tankers about the city giving it away?